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Visit to a cavern
“ The sea has now become smooth by the wind blowing off shore for two or three days, and the weather is settled, and being kindly accommodated with a ship's small boat which was picked up at sea by some fishermen, we this evening set out to visit a cavern about two miles from Kilkee. After rowing out of the bay, and finding ourselves on the mighty Atlantic, I may acknowledge we felt more at ease in a boat with a keel and rudder than we had done in a canoe, although the motion was much slower, from the boat being heavier. We were accompanied by another party in a canoe who soon got a-head of us. Having cleared the rocks of Duganna, the great expanse of water presented a magnificent appearance; the nearest point on the opposite shore was that of Newfoundland, two thousa
miles distant. In passing along, the dark cliffs, the Amphitheatre, the Puffing cavern, the flat or diamond rocks, in succession arrested our attention and excited admiration. As we glided over the glassy surface of the water in 'Look. out-bay,' we did not anticipate that it would so soon be the scene of a dreadful shipwreck, where a large number of our fellow-creatures who were on board the 'Intrinsic,' were instantaneously hurried into an awful eternity, when she went to pieces.
“ Having arrived at the mouth of the cave, we lay to, in order to take soundings, and to examine the majestic perpendicular cliffs, one hundred and fifty feet high, by which we were surrounded, throwing their dark shade on the water, which gave it the appearance of a sea of ink. The water here was thirty-three feet deep. We were gently wafted into this magnificent cavern, of which I can only give a faint sketch ; but to enable the reader to form some idea of its size, I shall give the best computation we were able to make. The height of the rude arch at the entrance, by comparison with the cliff above, appeared to be about sixty feet, and lowered as it receded, to thirty or forty; the breadth at the bottom was the same; there were great blocks and angles of rock projecting on either sides ; within the en. trance, to the left, were a number of stalagmites, formed by the dropping from above, and standing on a sloping rock like small brownish sugar loaves. The roof presented a beautiful variety of rich metallic tinges, from the copper, iron, and other mineral substances held in solution by the water, which kept continually dropping from the top, and give increased effect of light thrown in at the entrance, which formed a striking contrast with the darkness at the upper end ; on the right a number of stalactites lined the side, having the appearance of a drapery of sea weeds, and produced a handsome effect. The echo here is astonishing. After proceeding inward about 250 feet, the light becomes very dim, and the cavern narrower, making an angle to the left. A jutting rock at the entrance of this angle shuts out the little light, on which account the inner chamber is rendered nearly dark. Proceeding on slowly, and having a boat not liable to be injured by touching a rock, we allowed it to float in by the effect of the swell, until the awful and profound silence was broken by the noise of the boat touching the rock at the extreme end, which broke upon the ear with an indescribably deep and impressive sound, as it reverberated from the roof and sides. Whilst in the dark part, we perceived, what was also noticed by another party, that the dipping of the oars, and the dropping from the roof, produced a sparkling appearance under the water-caused, no doubt, by the air bubbles reflecting the little light which we could scarcely perceive. On leaving this gloomy place, and einerging into day, the sunbeams were shining outside the entrance of the cave, about two hundred and fifty feet distant, and hence reflected on the dark rippling water within ; and again, being thrown upon the rough arched roof, rendered still more brilliant by its beautiful metallic tints, broke like a scene of fancied enchantment upon the delighted vision. We were followed into the cave by two men in a canoe, who brought some very fine fish just caught; and this curious coincidence probably occasioned the first market that ever was held in this magnificent cavern.
“I would recommend parties not to explore this sombre region of awful grandeur without having a second boat in company, as a slight inclination to either side might occasion an upset, the consequence of which might be very serious, as the precipitous nature of the sides of the cavern afford no footing. I omitted to mention, in its proper place, that the water in the middle was twenty-two and a half feet deep, and nine near the extremity.
“We were so much pleased with exploring this place, that we planned a second visit, in order to measure its extent; at the same time, we were not at all sorry to find ourselves once more in the light of day. We then rowed round Bird and Bishop islands : great care is necessary in passing amongst the great masses of dark rock which rise above the water. amining the strata of these islands, which were exactly similar to the adjacent cliffs, no doubt exists but that they were once united. The next evening we repeated our visit, and the cave
NEW SERIES, VOL. I, NO. I.
presented a more gloomy appearance, in consequence of the water being rougher and the evening less clear. We were preceded by a canoe, and, having provided ourselves with candles, we rowed on until the noise of the breakers, at the further end, resounded through the cavern like distant thunder, and induced the hardy seamen “to push back.” On arriving at the wide part of the cave we lay to for a while, in utter darkness. Haring struck a light, we were enabled to examine the inner chamber, which was much more extensive than we had supposed, presenting a lofty arched roof, apparently fifty feet high. The men informed us that it was rocky on the left hand, where it appeared to turn off. Some detonating powder was here exploded, which produced so violent a concussion, that our boatmen assured us they “ thought they were kilt.” We stuck the lights to the side of the cavern, which produced a fine effect as we rowed out to sea. Disappointed in our intention of again arriving at the extreme end, and of bringing some mementos therefrom, we were obliged to leave this interesting scene without any other memorial than that of hearts filled with admiration, and reached the open sea just in time to witness a magnificent sunset.
“6 Great source of day! best image here below
Of thy Creator, ever pouriug wide,
“Being prevented from measuring the cave by the roughness of the water, and the lateness of the hour, arrangements were made for a third visit; but the wind changing, the weather became too unsettled again to venture. The early part of the day is recommended for taking this excursion.”
There are some notices which would interest the geologist, but we have not room for further extracts.
THE EPIDEMICS OF 1836.
By Mr. W. PERCIVALL, M.R.C.S., & V.S. 1st Life Guards.
Disease has prevailed to an extraordinary extent among horses during the summer and autumn of the present year. Two distinct epidemics have come under my notice at different times, nowise alike, and seemingly in nowise connected.
The first made its appearance in the month of May, and declined and ceased in June. It was characterized by dulness and dejection; by complete and often long-continued aversion to food of all kinds; by sore throat, and in some instances by catarrhal symptoms; by celerity of pulse; by the speedy accession of debility; and by an insidious proneness to run into chronic pneu monia. In fine, altogether, it did not materially differ from many former epidemics.
But the second, which commenced in July, and still in the metropolis (October), and probably in many country situations, continues to prevail, though its prevalence appears much abated, has assumed altogether a different aspect from the ordinary epidemic. It has manifested this one, among other peculiarities, that in no instance has it presented the appearance
of catarrh. Symptoms.-Dulness, and indications of pain in the head; disinclination to take food; partial closure, with slight puffy tumour of one or both eyelids ; intolerance of light; a trifling issue of tears from the inner canthus; mouth hot, but moist; fulness of the skin under the jaw ; legs, most commonly all four, swollen and tender to pressure; sheath infiltrated; gait stiff, straddling, and, in some instances, so difficult in the hind quarters, as to excite suspicion that the loins were affected ; pulse about 60; alvine and urinary excretions, if sensibly altered, diminished, there being a disposition to constipation.
The Peculiarities of the present prevailing epidemic consist, first, in its singular uniformity of character: in upwards of one hundred and thirty cases that have occurred immediately under my own observation, it has preserved, with slight variations, identical distinctive signs: the eyes, the legs, the gait, the sheath, the submaxillary interspace, have, one or other, or all of them, in conjunction with febrile symptoms, too plainly demonstrated the identity of the disorder to admit of a moment's doubt. And these characteristics, I have since learned, have been as promptly recognizable upon the Surrey hills, farthest from London, as in the very heart of the metropolis itself.
The second peculiarity observable has been the absence of catarrhal symptoms : most influenzæ have been noted for affecting severely the mucous membrane of the air-passages ; in the present instance nothing has occured of the kind that has attracted notice. Thirdly, the present epidemnic has been of a remarkably curable nature—it has, with very few exceptions, speedily yielded to mild and siniple treatment; and although its tendency, after the primary attack, to run into debility has been strong and rapid, still that debility has not of itself proved ultimately hurtful further than the ill-conditioned state to which the animal has been reduced by it.
Its Tendency or Termination has been, with a little assistance from art, sooner or later, into the return of health and strengh. To this, however, there have been some-in comparison to the numbers attacked, very few-fatal exceptions. Out of the 130 cases that have occurred in the regiment to which I belong, two have terminated in pneumonia, two in hydrothorax, and one in farcy and glanders : the farcy originated in and spread from the hind extremities; glanders ensued. In some rare instances the has been so slight and evanescent as to pass off after simply a change of diet, without medicine.
In the generality of cases, from a week to a fortnight has sufficed to restore the animals to health. In some instances, a lingering low fever, characterized by languor and debility, with or without swollen legs and sheath, and weak eyes, has supervened, which has called for the administration of tonics and diuretics and stimulants, and required from one week to a month to overcome. case, after the expiration of a month, an abscess formed in the throat, which proved critical, as from that period the animal went on well.
Causes.-My regiment did not move from the Regent's Park barracks until the first week in July, up to which period not a single case had occured of this latter description of epidemic. The first and second weeks in July were marked by oppressively sultry weather, and in the third the influenza made its appearance, of which I have been attempting a description. Soon after its onset it rapidly spread, not from one horse to another standing by his side, or even always in the same stable or part of the barracks ; but it selected as its subjects the young, the three and four-year old horses, leaving hardly one of them